How much is too much? When it comes to Dylan Hartley it seems that number is 54. That's the number of weeks of professional rugby the England hooker has missed as a result of suspension. Nearly a year of your career on the sidelines as a result of ill-discipline. It doesn't read well.
And it seems Stuart Lancaster has the same opinion. With Hartley suspended for the first game of the World Cup following a headbutt on Saracens Jamie George at the weekend, the England coach has decided to leave the Northampton man out of the squad entirely.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) May 29, 2015
The suspension handed down to Hartley was for four weeks, beginning on August 15th. Somewhat lenient considering his history, however, the force of the headbutt was probably also taken into account. Regardless, the fact that Hartley would miss all of England's warm up games, as well as the opening game against Fiji has seemingly made up Lancaster's mind.
The horrible irony for Hartley is that he has been replaced in the squad by Saracens Jamie George, who as you might remember from two paragraphs ago was the man on the end of his headbutt. Ouch, that's got to hurt.